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Best Film Carry On Doctor
Films 23 -  Cabby, Jack, Spying, Cleo, Cowboy, Screaming, Don't Lose Your Head, Follow That Camel, Doctor, Up The Khyber, Again Doctor, Camping, Up The Jungle, Loving, Henry, At Your Convenience, Abroad, Matron, Girls, Dick, Behind, That'sEmmannuelle


Bruce Montgomery was not at home with creative ideas within music and would often call on the help of jobbing musician Eric Rogers.  As a result of this and Montgomery's drinking habits, he was frequently late with his scores and eventually Peter Rogers dispensed with Montgomery's services and brought Eric Rogers into the team.  It was the beginning of a long and fruitful personal and professional relationship between the two men who are incidentally not related.

Born on the 25th September 1921, his musical education began at 13 when he was taught by the local organist and during his WWII service with the RAF he played the piano in pubs which earned him free beer.  With his demobilisation gratuity he formed a small orchestra which played in The Orchid Room at the London Trocadero.  After working as an arranger accompanist for, amongst others, Fred Emney and Julie Wilson, he began composing background music for films.  

He started with children's films and then moved on to features including The Wooden Horse, Encore and Genevieve.  He wrote the theme music for TV's Sunday Night At The London Palladium and was the Musical Director for several Variety Theatres.  When Lionel Bart decided to set the book Oliver Twist to music, he was unable to read or write music, so he asked Rogers to write it down and make the arrangements.  He worked on several stage musicals and arranged a number of hits in the United States and has released some popular records.  Peter Rogers on the other hand has no musical education but is devoted to music.  It is a passion which goes back to his childhood when he used to turn the pages when his father played the piano.

Eric composed and conducted the music for 23 Carry Ons, often consulting Peter who was always ready with ideas.  The resulting scores have their own humour which supports the main action and never works against it.  Sometimes the score indulges in the kind of satire that everyone can appreciate like, the playing of Greensleeves in Henry or the warning note sounded by "Do Not Trust Him Gentle Maiden" when Lady Ponsonby (Angela Douglas) is willingly abducted by Abdul Abulbul (Bernard Bresslaw) in Follow That Camel.  Some jokes are pulled from popular TV programmes, the theme music from both Z Cars and Steptoe and Son is echoed in Screaming and the same joke is used in Doctor when Wilfred Bramble makes a cameo appearance as one of the patient's - a dirty old man!  

Some other musical in-jokes but more obscure are, "The Unhatched Chicks" from Moussorgsky's "Pictures From An Exhibition" in Doctor when Mrs Barron comes to collect her husband (Charles Hawtrey) who has been suffering from a sympathetic pregnancy, and there is at least one in-joke - a Scott Joplin type rag - composed around the initial letters of Peter's wife, Betty Evelyn Box (the notes BEB) which can be heard in Girls.  

Eric also wrote the songs which introduced Cowboy, Screaming and Don't Lose Your Head.  He was a gifted and versatile instrumentalist who became great friends with his producer.  He was writing a book about music when he died in April 8, 1981 (age 59) in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, England. "I was rather lost", says Peter, "when he died, I had no-one to talk to about music".

 

Filmography
 Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB

Return to the Planet of the Apes (TV)
No Sex, Please - We're British
All Coppers Are...
Bless This House
Assault
Inn of the Frightened People
Quest for Love
Doctor Dolittle (TV)
Doctor in Trouble
Best House in London, The
Oliver! (Assoc Composer)
Big Job, The
Three Hats for Lisa
Horse Without a Head, The
Nurse on Wheels
Iron Maiden, The
Dr. No (Conductor)
Meet Mr. Lucifer
Genevieve (Choreographer)
Night and the City (Orchestra)
Woman of Paris, A (Conductor)

 


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